The Prime Minister is being pushed to the door by her fellow Conservative Party members, who are today set to tell her she may go through a new confidence vote on June 12 if she doesn’t agree to leave before the summer. Mrs May promised in December to stand down after delivering Brexit – but as the end of the parliamentary deadlock is not yet in sight, the powerful backbencher committee fears the Prime Minister may hold to her seat until October 31, the day the UK will formally leave the European Union.
And with the swift surge of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in opinion polls ahead of the European elections, many Tories are fearing the Conservative Party may be humiliated on May 23 unless they indicate the end of Mrs May’s leadership.
Committee treasurer Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told the Press Association: “It would be infinitely preferable if she set a date rather than us force her out.
“It’s better that she does it than we have a vote of confidence.
Theresa May may be ‘forced out’ by the 1922 Committee in June
“What I would like to see is her set out a timetable to trigger a leadership contest.”
The committee met last month to discuss whether to change the current rules regarding the leadership bid, which prevent the party from challenging the leader more than once every 12 months.
At present, Mrs May cannot be challenged again as leader until December.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told the Press Association: “I would like to see the 22 give her a timetable to stand down.
“And, if she does not accept that timetable, tell her we will have another vote of confidence after the European elections.”
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9.20am update: Theresa May must ‘do her duty and stand down’
Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former political adviser, lashed out at the Prime Minister as he urged her to step down for the sake of the country.
He wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “If the Prime Minister had delivered a meaningful Brexit, she could have kept her party largely together and retained DUP support.
“She could have threatened Parliament as she now threatens her own MPs: vote for this true Brexit, she could have said, or face the electorate you betrayed.
“Instead, she negotiated a Brexit deal she knew her party opposed and which commanded no Commons majority.
“She ran down the clock and refused to seek alternative arrangements to the deal’s most contentious clauses.
“As a result, she unleashed the Brexit Party, which without dramatic change will consign the Conservatives to opposition.
“It is not yet clear who her successor should be, nor what they would do. But that is not the point.
“The Prime Minister’s Brexit plan has failed, and she has no alternative.
“Every day wasted from here makes life harder for whoever leads Britain into the future. We need to end this national humiliation, deliver Brexit, and save the Tories.
“The Prime Minister, I am sorry to say, must do her duty and stand aside.”
Theresa May has been urged to ‘do her duty’ and quit now
9am update: Brexit uncertainty hits holiday giant Thomas Cook
Holiday giant Thomas Cook has slumped to a £1.5 billion half-year loss and blamed it on the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
Britons, the holiday giant said, have been delaying their summer holiday plans, afraid of being caught up in a no deal chaos at the border if negotiations between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn collapse.
The group’s pre-tax losses widened from £303 million a year earlier, and the firm warned “challenging” trading over the peak summer season was set to put the full-year result under pressure.
It now expects underlying earnings to fall over the second half as holiday firms cut prices to boost Brexit-hit demand and costs of fuel and hotels rise.
Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said: “The prolonged heatwave last summer and high prices in the Canaries reduced customer demand for winter sun, particularly in the Nordic region, while there is now little doubt that the Brexit process has led many UK customers to delay their holiday plans for this summer.
“As we look ahead to the remainder of the year, it’s clear that, notwithstanding our early decision to mitigate our exposure in the ‘lates’ market by reducing capacity, the continued competitive pressure resulting from consumer uncertainty is putting further pressure on margins.
“This, combined with higher fuel and hotel costs, is creating further headwinds to our progress over the remainder of the year.”
Thomas Cook has slumped to a £1.5bn half-year losses
8.30am update: No deal is better than no Brexit, says Liz Truss
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss said she would prefer a no-deal exit from the EU to revoking Brexit.
Ms Truss told BBC2’s Newsnight: “If we face a straight choice between revoking Brexit and no dealing, we have to no deal.
“It’s a matter of trust. The people expect us to have already left the EU.
“And if we haven’t done that by October 31 I fear there will be real consequences and not just for our politics, but also, for our economy.”
8.09am update: Theresa May facing backlash for considering holding Brexit vote as Donald Trump visits UK
The Government is considering putting the Brexit legislation to a vote on the first week of June, despite Donald Trump is visiting the UK on the same week, between June 3 and 5.
This has sparked harsh criticism among the Conservative Party.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a former aide in the Ministry of Defence and Brexiteer Tory MP, said: “I wanted Mrs May to vote on the Withdrawal Bill but it does seem odd to bring it back in the midst of an important but possibly difficult visit by the US president and to distract from the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice of so many veterans for the 75th anniversary.”